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Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 May 10;124(1):98-102. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2008.02.031. Epub 2008 Mar 7.

Comparing the antimicrobial effectiveness of NaCl and KCl with a view to salt/sodium replacement.

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Quality and Safety Department, Nestlé Research Centre, Vers-chez-les-Blanc, Lausanne, 1000, Switzerland.


A study using a small range of pathogenic bacterial species (Aeromonas hydrophila, Enterobacter sakazakii, Shigella flexneri, Yersinia enterocolitica and 3 strains of Staphylococcus aureus) has shown that potassium chloride has an equivalent antimicrobial effect on these organisms when calculated on a molar basis. Combined NaCl and KCl experiments were carried out and data was analysed using a modification to the Lambert and Lambert [Lambert, R.J.W., and Lambert, R., 2003. A model for the efficacy of combined inhibitors. Journal of Applied Microbiology 95, 734-743.] model for combined inhibitors and showed that in combination KCl is a direct 1:1 molar replacement for the antimicrobial effect of common salt. If this is a general finding then, where salt is used to help preserve a product, partial or complete replacement by KCl is possible.

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